Chinese tennis starting to see benefits of commitment with a new star emerging - UBITENNIS
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Chinese tennis starting to see benefits of commitment with a new star emerging



Li Na’s tennis successor is quickly appearing in the form of Wibing Yu. (

Most people who have followed tennis over the last decade are aware of Li Na. The superstar drove tennis in China to new heights when she won the 2011 French Open and then the 2014 Australian Open.


Since Na’s retirement in 2014, Chinese tennis has had to wait for a new superstar. Whilst heavy financial investment in sports such as football has quickly been able to attract star players to the new-found wealth of teams in Shanghai and Beijing, building a tennis legacy has taken more time.

Wibing Yu appears to be on the cusp of coming into the mainstream as China’s new hope in the men’s game. The 17 year-old came to wider attention when he won the US Open Junior Singles and Doubles titles earlier this year. Yet it was just this past week with his stunning run to the Shanghai Challenger title that adds more weight to the argument that China will soon be able to compete in a sport that has been largely dominated by players from Europe, The Americas, and Australia, and, more recently, China’s regional rivals, South Korea and Japan.

Players from China have won Challenger titles before. Indeed, Yu is not the only Chinese player to win a title at this level even this season. Ze Zhang picked up his first title at this level in San Francisco in February, whilst Di Wu, also won a title in January 2016. Yet for all their successes, (Zhang has a tour-level win over former Grand Slam semi-finalist Richard Gasquet,) they are both seen as journeymen players who have not quite been capable of carrying the weight of expectation that China is now developing. Neither have been ranked in the Top 100, though both are solidly ranked inside the Top 200.

This is where Yu comes in. At 17 and the Junior No.1, there was cautious optimism that he might make the grade. Now, with a high-level professional Challenger title under his belt, the case for his star potential is slowly but surely gaining more traction. Consider that Yu having won a junior Grand Slam and a Challenger title in the same season puts him in some exclusive and esteemed company. Amongst players in the last five years to have won a junior Grand Slam and a Challenger title are Top 10 star Alexander Zverev, Australia’s Nick Kyrgios, and the USA’s Taylor Fritz. All three are Top 100 players, with Zverev and Kyrgios now inside the Top 30.

Tennis may encourage, even require countries to develop their own players to represent them, unlike sports including football where international stars can be convinced to play for Chinese clubs for financial reasons. This does not mean that China has not looked abroad for help. Di Wu is now coached by two-time ATP title winner Davide Sanguinetti, and Yu is coached by Yahum Garcia Sanchez, adding a distinctly European feel to the coaching set-up.

Boris Becker has made a significant commitment to Chinese tennis by opening an academy in Shenzhen (

China is not only committed to supplying their existing players with high-profile support. In 2016, former Wimbledon Champion and World No.1 Boris Becker opened his Becker Academy in Shenzhen, site of a Chinese professional tour event.

Becker: “Clearly there is tremendous talent and potential among young tennis players in China.

China appears to be putting significant grassroots down to build for the tennis future. Li Na’s legacy is already appearing in the form of Wibing Yu, and he is likely just the first in a number of Chinese players set to appear in the higher reaches of the game in the coming years.

Becker: “This is the biggest country in the world, but no male players in the top 100 – we’re about to change this.

Becker’s assertion looks set to quickly become a reality if Yu’s recent progress is continued.



India’s Sumit Nagal Receives Sponsorship Boost After Revelling Financial Struggles



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A leading food and drink company has pledged to support India’s highest-ranked men’s player who was unable to train at his usual facility in Germany earlier this year due to a lack of money. 


Earlier this week world No.159 Sumit Nagal made a public plea for financial support to help him continue his career as a tennis player. In recent years he has been based at the Nansel Tennis Academy in Germany but was unable to train there during the first three months of the 2023 season due to a lack of funds. During this period he relied on his friends, including former player Somdev Devvarman, to help maintain his fitness. 

“If I look at my bank balance, I have what I had at the beginning of the year. It is 900 euros. I did get a bit of help. Mr Prashant Sutar is helping me with MAHA Tennis Foundation and I also get monthly (salary) from IOCL but I don’t have any big sponsor,” Nagal told the Press Trust of India.
“I am investing whatever I am making. The yearly cost where I travel with one coach is costing me around Rs 8 million to Rs 10 million (90,000-113,000 euros) and that is just with one travelling coach (no physio). Whatever I have made I have already invested,” he added.

Nagal, who is 26 years old, has reached the semi-finals of better at five tournaments on the lower-level Challenger Tour so far this season. His only Grand Slam result was at the US Open where he lost in the first round of qualifying to Taro Daniel. It was at the US Open where he took a set off Roger Federer before losing in 2019. 

Despite being the only player from his country to be ranked in the top 400, Nagal is currently not part of the Target Olympics Podium Scheme. An initiative set up by the Indian government to provide support to their top athletes.

After learning about Nagal’s ongoing struggles on the Tour, a leading company has decided to support the tennis player by signing a three-year deal with him. Gatorade specializes in sports drinks and is manufactured by PepsiCo. Under the deal, Nagal will receive support with his recovery and nutrition from experts at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI).  

“I am deeply moved and grateful to join hands with Gatorade. This association comes to me at a pivotal time, and I am thankful my hard work and passion is getting recognized and appreciated. With Gatorade by my side, I am sure I will reach new heights and give it my all both on and off the court,” the Indo-Asian News Service quoted Nagal as saying on Thursday. 

Speaking about the new partnership, Ankit Agarwal from PepsiCo India has hailed the collaboration. Agarwal is the company’s Associate Director of Energy & Hydration. 

“Sumit is a role model for the new-gen athletes of India with his career being a true example of hard work and sweat that makes talent shine,” he said.
“As a brand that is dedicated to supporting athletes in removing barriers to sporting success, we are delighted to welcome Sumit to the Gatorade squad.”

Nagal has been ranked as high as No.122 in the world. So far in his career, he has won four Challenger titles with two of those occurring this year in Italy and Finland. 

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(VIDEO): Malaga Line-Up Set As Davis Cup Most Unpredictable Tournament In History

UbiTennis founder Ubaldo Scanagatta explains why any of the eight teams in Malaga could win November’s Davis Cup Finals




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The Davis Cup quarter-final line-up is set after an incredible Group Stage over Bologna, Split, Manchester and Valencia.


Now eight teams remain including Novak Djokovic’s Serbia, Great Britain and Australia.

However surprise teams such as the Netherlands, Finland and the Czech Republic will also appear in the quarter-finals.

Ten-time champions Great Britain will face Serbia with the winners taking on the winner of the quarter-final between Italy and the Netherlands.

In the other half of the draw Canada will be heavy favourites against Finland while the Czech Republic face Australia.

The final eight tournament will take place in Malaga and will take place between the 21st and the 26th of November.

However this year’s Davis Cup could be the most unpredictable version in the tournament’s history with there being no Spain or USA.

It really could be anyone’ tournament with Tennis’ most prestigious team competition up for grabs in November.

In this video UbiTennis founder Ubaldo Scanagatta explains why this year’s Davis Cup finals could be the most unpredictable edition of all-time and why any of the teams could win the title.

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Simona Halep Claims Doing Ban Is ‘Based On Scenarios’ Without Proof




Former world No.1 Simona Halep has questioned the fairness of her anti-doping hearing after being suspended from the sport for four years. 


The two-time Grand Slam champion is suspended from tour events until 2026 after an independent tribunal concluded that the Romanian broke rules set out in Tennis’ anti-doping program. In a 126-page report by the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA), investigators accepted that the collagen supplement taken by Halep – called Keto MCT – was contaminated with Roxadustat “on the balance of probability.” However, they stated that there must have been another source of Roxadustat based on the level detected in her sample taken during the 2022 US Open. 

Furthermore, three experts in the area said they have ‘a high degree of confidence‘ that there was not an ‘innocent explanation’ for the abnormalities detected in Halep’s Athlete’s Biological Passport (ABP). They reported that ‘likely doping’ occurred based on an analysis of 51 valid samples of Halep’s blood and rejected her explanation for the irregularity. The tennis star cited blood loss during surgery and spells when she was inactive as her defence. 

Despite the comprehensive ruling, Halep has insisted that she is innocent and never intentionally took any banned substances. During an interview with Front Office Sports on Monday, the 31-year-old claimed that the ITIA’s four-year ban handed to her was based on ‘scenarios’ instead of any proof. 

“I was confident after the hearing because there were so many things that made no sense and that are not fair,” she said.
“When I received the decision, I was in complete shock. I could not believe that they suspended me for four years when we found the contamination and my blood was totally normal. They didn’t find anything bad in my blood. It’s crazy that they made this decision with everything [her legal team presented]. They judged me on scenarios. There is no proof. It’s just insane.”

The ITIA originally requested a six-year ban for Halep due to what they described as ‘repetitive and sophisticated’ doping practices. She is accused of using blood doping to improve her performance during Wimbledon and the US Open last year. However, the report found it was not ‘completely satisfied’ that Halep has been doping since March 2022 despite there being ‘strong grounds for suspicion.’

As for the substance Roxadustat, Halep says she would have never deliberately taken the drug as it would ‘work against her.’ She says that the drug would have worsened a thyroid issue which she has been dealing with for several years. Front Office Sports referred to a European Medicines Agency study which finds a possible link between the drug and decreased thyroid function. 

“There was no point for me to take this,” Halep said. “It’d work against me. It wouldn’t help me.”

The study couldn’t establish how common this side effect is due to the amount of data available at the time. 

In the wake of Halep’s ban, some have publicly expressed their views on the matter. One of the most notable to do so was Serena Williams who wrote on social media ‘8 is a better number” in a jibe at her former opponent. The reference was to the 2019 Wimbledon final when seven-time champion Williams lost in straight sets to Halep. 

“I think everyone has the right to judge me because the tribunal decided that I have the fault here,” Halep commented. “Someone told me today that those players who are hating on me because I beat them.”

Halep is set to appeal against her ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). 

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